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I Am Depressed Over My Kids Growing Up.

I am depressed over my kids growing up. My son starts college at UNC in 4 weeks and I can not stop crying. I cry when I think about it. My kids have been my whole life. I have loved them and done for them and I feel as though I don't really have a life of my own. I have a 13 yo daughter and I miss the little kids stage. Last night we watched movies from when they were little. It made me so happy to see that again but so sad to know its gone and I will never get it back. Christmas was the best when they were little. The excitement and happiness.  I grieve for what my life is not. It has not turned out the way I wanted at all and it makes me sad. I want what I had with my kids when all they wanted was mommy. I am still close to my kids and I am grateful for that. My son and daughter still like to include me in doing things with them and I know I am very lucky to have that. We all just went to see Harry Potter together at Midnight. We always do things like that. I know I still have my daughter but it seems like time every time I say something to her I am getting on her nerves. Girls are so different from boys. Girls are more smart  mouth, and they act like they know it all. I know were close but it is just different from my son.  I am so sad and even she is depressed about my son leaving. Any suggestions plelase??

I survived my son leaving.
Well it is hard to believe that my son left to go to college in 2011. Then, I thought I would die. I am happy to say that he will be graduating next May, and I am a better person for it. When he left I thought my life was over. I cried all the time. He has proved he still needs me by calling and asking for my advice. We text all the time ( I thought he would never call or text or need me). I go and stay with him and we have a great time. I am proud to see what a responsible young man he is turning into. I look at him and see a caring, responsible adult. He is now talking about grad school. Not sure I will survive that since they are all far away lol but I know I can do it. I have already done it. I have my daughter and we are still close. I have a great man in my life and I have ventured into new hobbies. I have started to take back my life a little at a time and I am loving it. Who knew? So for everyone out there depressed over their kids leaving, you can do it to. You can take your life back too and still be their mom or dad. If i can do it so can you!!!! Keep the faith and hope. Hugs to all you going through it.
girlygirl036 girlygirl036 41-45, F 75 Responses Jul 21, 2011

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My mom is getting depressed because i'm growing up what do I do to make her happy.

I desparately miss my boys being small. They are 9 and 13 now, and have lost all innocence about the world. They are pretty self-sufficient, and honestly don't need me much other than for problems. I don't know how to like any of the things that they do, and they are often much smarter than me about things. They can talk rings around me. I am intimidated by them often. I feel like I have no place in our home, and no purpose in life.

I know it is hard. Please know that they need you. I to miss the kids when they were small and every thing was new and exciting. The holidays were wonderful and enchanting. Then they mature and realize there is no Santa, Easter bunny etc and the holidays become boring and not as exciting any more. However, there are things you can find in common with them. Movies, have them "teach" you about the computer, phones and any new tech things. Keep asking them to do things. Most of all have a loving relationship it will teach them how to love and how to treat women. Love them and let them know they are loved. They will appreciate it and they WILL always need you. Take it one day at a time. I'm praying for you. Hugs

Hi tabitha1968, my name is Christopher in the UK.
"THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR POST", I thought I was the only one that felt as you.
My three kids are 20, 19 and 15, and I feel I'm only a person they have to talk to now, instead of the man that they ran to when upset, expected me to know all the answers, and as bizarre as it may sound, feed them when hungry.
My oldest daughter saw me watching videos of 5 and 6 year olds the other day and said I was odd for doing so.
That hurt me so much, I just wanted to see kids that thought there mam and dad were everything, and to remember the times when I was that person.


Remember that even though you brought these kids to this world, it would've been unhealthy for them to stay dependent on you for all their life. They are building their own lives like when you started your own. Be happy for them that it goes that way and not the other.

As for your own wellbeing, you've done this poor decision most women do early in their lives: sacrificing their whole life for their kids, realizing when it's almost too late they haven't left anything for themselves for when their kids are not much around anymore. So, what I suggest you is simply what your kids are doing right now: start building your own life!

Thank you... that is exactly what I did. I am in a much better place now, remember this story is 3 years old lol, so I updated my story but did not make it the main story. I ditched the hubby, so not right for me, found new hobbies, found a new guy, who makes me a better person, and found that no matter what my kids will always need me. But to be fair, its what women do. We have kids and raise them and they make us a better person for it. Loving my life :-)

I know that as an adult even after all these years I look back at my childhood years with fond memories of my relationship with my parents and my brother and sister and extended family. Even more so at Christmas. I am sure that soon you will have grandchildren to dote on and you will be even more closer to your kids

I can relate, I'm recovering at this moment from a crying session. I'm happily married and my kids are currently 3 1/2 and 6 months. Ever since the 2nd baby was born, the bedtime routine for my 'big girl' became my steady job. We have such precious time together in the evenings. As she falls asleep in her covertible crib (4th side off now) I sit on the floor with my arm in with her, she snuggles my arm along with her blankie and a teddy bear. At first I was impatient and pulled away my arm, but now I don't want her to let go... I cry thinking of the day she won't want to snuggle my arm at bedtime, won't want to kiss be between each and every vertical bar on the crib. I totally lose control crying when I consider the option that she may marry someone and move out of state. My entire family has always lived local, I have a normal healthy relationship with my parents and see them once or twice a week for dinner or when they watch the kids... I want that with my kids someday... I freak out thinking she may move far away. My wife can't relate and just stares at her phone texting and half-heartedly tells me "its ok calm down" when I pour my heart out to her about this. I am a good parent and I discipline when needed and say 'no' and teach her wisdom... but when its playtime, I'm on the floor fully involved and will be as long as she wants to... I really don't know what to do with myself when she has sleepovers at her grandparents.

Dear Evets123456,
You are doing the right thing by spending time with your babies. It is good for a man to be a loving role model. You have a long time with your kids, please don't be sad for things that are so far in the future. Enjoy every moment you have with them. Teach them respect, love and encourage them to do their dreams. When they are teens and adults they will appreciate everything you did for them. Unfortunately when the teen years hit they will want a little more space. As much as it hurts give it to them. But never stop asking them to do things with you. Even if they say no, they appreciate it. The best thing is take it one day at a time. When the kids are at the grandparents that should be date night with the wife. No cell phones just you and her time. Plan a romantic dinner. enjoy each other. In time you will see your kids grow and be loving, they learn by seeing. They will reflect what you taught them. Try to not worry and love each day you have with them. Show them what it is like to be a loving couple and let them learn what to expect from a good relationship. Sad thing is most females don't have a father like you and they don't know what a loving relationship is and except what ever. You are showing her what to expect from a loving man and loving relationship teach her to never settle. You are a great father continue doing what you are and please slow down take it one day at a time. You are doing great.

Girlygirl036, thank you for your encouragement and support. It was hard for me to open up all that on here, if you saw me I'm your typical football and sports-car loving manly man type, but my little girls sure did manage to find that soft spot. My dad is a good man but had a job that required excessive overtime so I didn't have a good example of hands-on daily loving fatherhood, but I'm enjoying learning along the way as my little beauties are growing. Thanks again, have a good day.

You are welcome!! Even though you say you didn't have a good example of an everyday father, I to didn't have the best example, I think maybe we are doing with out children what we wanted as a child. Hey all I can say is it works. We do for them what we wanted as a child and I can honestly say it has worked with my kids. So chin up Evets your doing wonder :) and PS your girls should always find the soft spot

should say with our children ; ) some times I type faster then I should.

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I just found this via Google and I am experiencing something very similar, except with my baby brother. I am 20 years old and my (half) brother is 6. He's my only sibling. It seems like just last month that he was a little baby and now he's just lost his first tooth. I cried for an hour last night thinking about the fact that he will be ten in another four years. <br />
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Right now, we are really close and he wants me to play with him every day. He really looks up to me and copies what I do, just like my little cousin used to (who is now all grown up, sadly). We play games together and we have a lot of similar interests and a similar sense of humor. I really enjoy every moment I spend with him, but I can't stop worrying about him getting older, going through puberty, and wanting independence. Right now, he tells all his friends at school about me and even begs me to work at the school so he can see me there every day! When he's older, it won't be 'cool' to hang out with his sister anymore... what if his school friends become his priority? I'll probably have moved out of home and I won't see him every day anymore... I feel like crying thinking about this.<br />
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I suffer from really bad anxiety and I'm constantly thinking and worrying about myself and my family members getting older every night. I stay up all night putting off trying to get to sleep because I know I'll just lay there and worry. I worry about my parents getting old. I worry about myself getting old. I even worry constantly about my boyfriend dying suddenly! Thinking about my brother is the worst of all, though, because he is my absolute best friend and my rock. I love children and their innocence - they are nonjudgmental and unassuming. They love everybody regardless of how they look and act, and they always know how to have fun. I can barely come to terms with the fact that I'm growing up!!! I still feel like a little kid, totally dependent on my family. I cried on my 20th birthday. I cried on my 17th, 18th and 19th birthdays too. I hate being around people my age because they just talk about parties, drinking and drugs. I can't stand the thought of my brother growing up and getting into the party scene... getting drunk, using drugs, getting with girls... it makes me sick to my stomach, and I don't know how to deal with all these feelings. It's driving me insane.

I am sorry you are going through this. I know it is very hard. It does seem you have very bad anxiety. Have you tried any medication's for it? Or talked to a counselor? I know it is hard to watch the young grow up. We have to let them grow. We have to let them make mistakes and know that we are there to help if he needs it. He will always need you even if he acts like he don't. The best thing you can do is love him. Have fun with him. Play with him and make sure he knows you are always there for him. Make all the memories you can. Because as much as we hate it, they do grow up and start to want to "hang" with their friends. Please take it one day at a time. Just breath. It will all be all right. And even if they pull away for a little bit, they usually find their way back to you. You will find they want your advice and will always need you. :)

Thanks so much for your reply. I have had problems with anxiety for the past five years but didn't realise it until recently. I used to think it was normal to stay up all night worrying and not being able to sleep. I'm glad I know better now. I've tried to push myself to go to see a counselor or a psychologist but I get anxiety about that as well. I've made three appointments so far but have pulled out of all of them at the last minute because the anxiety was too much. I really have to try and pull through it, because I know I need help to stop all the worrying. Thank you very much for your advice, I will take it on board. I really hope he and I will be the kind of siblings who stay close for life.

My daughter has anxiety and I finally got her to a counselor. She is doing so much better.. so there is help :) just keep trying.

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I am retired and will be 65 in two months. I have three grown sons who all have children and live close by. I don't see them as much as I want because they all have careers and families. Suddenly, tonight, I started tearing up, thinking about how I just need to give them all hugs. I really am miserable. I don't know how to cope with this. I just had to write this to maybe come to grips with reality: they are adults now with their own wives and children. I just need to cry I guess. Men don't cry, right? Wrong. I do. I hope this passes soon.

Yes real men do cry!! And surprise, it's ok! :) I understand and I know its hard. But guess what? You stated that they all live close by. That is awesome. You have grand kids. Oh there is so much you can do. I am jealous. You have grand kids I have to say it again. You can go take them and do with them like you did with your kids. You have a second chance to have "small Kids" and actually enjoy them. Visit them, take them to the zoo, babysit, go to the movies out to eat. Your kids will so appreciate it and your grand kids will benefit from it also. And everyone needs a good cry. I know I do. I would love to hear from you. Let us know what you are doing and how you are coping. We all need this, that is why we are on here.

Hello,<br />
I know how you feel. I am a single parent and raised 3 boys. My oldest is 21 and lives out of town, my middle son, age 18 stays at his dads for the most part due to his job and he leaves for College this fall. My youngest will soon be 17 and he says he is moving out next year. I miss all my boys at home like crazy. We never get to do anything together anymore with me and all my boys together due to them saying "they have better things to do". My life has been my boys and its just killing me the thought of my last son leaving home. I know I am selfish but I want my boys back!...I love my boys alot. It bothers me too, but I know I need to let them go. I know how a mother feels by not wanting the kids to leave and it hurts but its life I guess. I will always be their mom and they will always be my babies.

<p>Wow, doesnt this thing creep up unexpectedly. Typical working dad doing shiftwork, lots of Saturdays and studying for 3 years with my 2 boys and wife (started working 3 days). boys are now 5 (just started school & 3 pre school. I found it hard to connect until about 2yrs old but we get along great. I am sentimental but usually pretty good when dealing with these things. I Did the usual shops, games at home, dvds and day out things with the family but missed alot with work and study. The eldest starting school was the trigger that im missing out on connecting & experiencing these years. Everyone told me it would go quick but each day seemed quite long. Guess what? those days added up. Having this feeling of losing something (my baby boys) I decided to investigate how to fix this.<br />
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Finding this site was very helpful. After reading here and other sites i just decided to have a chat to a very good boss that I have. Saturdays are gone, doing one shiftwork per week the rest is daywork, and negotiated days off when necessary. If they couldnt do this I was out. Not sure what I was going to do but thats where im at. Holidays are being booked and am spending more time really experiencing what a family is supposed to be including the arguments which still sometimes occur. We are going to experience more places together and make one on one time with both boys as this is when we really connect. Financially we'll be ok but throwing away the early retirement but 'ya Gotta' do what you gotta' do. Thankfully its not too late to enjoy this time as long as it starts now. I do also realise that that no matter how much time we spend together the slow handing over of the kids into the world will still be difficult but the smile will be bigger as well and hopefully we can get on with our time knowing that we really took advantange of the time together and did our best.<br />
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Sounds like you are appreciating the best moments in life and doing a great job! Savor every minute!

Wow how lucky your boy's really are. Cheers to you that you actually decided to do something before it was to late. Spending time with them is worth more then anything, and you will be the better for it. You are right, even spending time with them will not make it any easier to hand them over to life as they grow up. But you will have awesome memories to always put a smile on your face. take lots of pictures because you blink and they are gone.

Thanks for those nice replies. Nearly a year ago now and its that time of the year again in Aus when the kids go back to school which made me think of this. There was alot of growing going on but much more enjoyment was had thanks to the stories and ideas I found on here. The job front is a little slow but super glad I cut back the hours now. Reckon I'll look back on that with a little smile. The youngest goes to school Feb next year so the sentimental gene will be on notice. good luck to all

I need this post more than ever i have not slept more than 3 hours a night for 3 months now as i feel im moarning my son we are so close and he is 13 year 9 and i know soon he will pull away ,every happy memory i have is him and i cant breath at the thought of waking up with him not here. my husband and i are not really close and i practically did everything alone and was not aloud another child as husband doesn't want. i feel i sat on my feelings so long and wrapped myself up in my son that now i cant function .

I know your pain and am sorry for it. Like you I was not close with my husband either. We are now divorced. I did everything with my kids by myself. They were my best friends because I put them first. I wish I would have left him ALONG time ago. We are better for it now. I have found someone else and we are perfect for each other and it helps a lot. I am not saying this for you but what helped me. Your son's will always need you. Mine always sends me texts and calls and I go and stay at his apt at college. He tells me often that he could not do it with out me. and any time he needs advice he calls. Yours will to. enjoy them.

I am so close to my granddaughter but she is 13 now and growing away from me. I am so sad and cry a lot. I still see her but would love the relationship we had when she was younger. I lost both my mother and sister this year and am feeling very sad and lonely.

I know you are hurting. Sometimes we have to let them go and grow up. I feel for your loss and I urge you to find hobbies, a good girlfriend you can hang out with or try to get your granddaughter to come stay with you a night or two a month. I wish you well and know we are here for you!

Thank you for replying. I appreciate your comments.

Well, when it comes to kids growing up and the way you feel about it, we all know that is empty nest syndrome and it happens with many parents, what I can say is make the best with your kids, even when they grow up, they'll still need you in case they end up in a little fix, you can still see them when ever you get the chance. I'll admit that every parent doesn't want their kids to grow up but every parent knows that one day they have to. Maybe you can still talk to them and visit them when ever you want to, keeping in touch with your kids is something you should do. I would suggest maybe you could have another kid but I don't know if that's a good idea but hopefully, you'll still keep in touch with them.

Thanks your thoughts and Words have really helped me!

I hope this reply finds you well. Thank you for taking the time to reply. One day at a time was the only way I made it and John my fiance. Please if you still need to vent/talk email me at
thats what we are here for to help each other.

I think your advice of one day at a time is the best thing we can do also!

<p>Wow. Its hard to believe I wrote this story two years ago. I also never imagined I would have over 7000 people view it. I am very touched to know that there are so many people that felt the same. I just wanted to update on how I am doing now. My son will be starting his Junior year at UNC (I still cant believe that) then starting grad school (only heaven knows where). I do not cry any more thank goodness but only because I have learned that even though my son is gone he still needs his mother. I thank the lord we have such a close relationship. He calls, text, and skypes as much as he can. I just got back from a three day stay at his apt with him. He even text yells at me if he hasn't heard from me in 3 days. I still have my daughter who will be a sophmore in highschool and I know that will be depression all over again when she is a senior. I now am engaged to a wonderful man and this has TRULY been the best thing for me. Before, I hate to admit, but I made my kids my life and they are. But now I have a bestfriend, and I focus some of my attention on him and not all my attention on my kids. I still miss the little kids and am happy to know they are growing up into responsible adults. They are truly my pride and joy. I know I have done the best I could and they show me by wanting to spend time with me and wanting to talk to me all the time. I am blessed and very thankful. I love them. So I know the feelings you are having because I lived them. I want you to know there is hope for all of you. Try to talk to them as much as they will let you. Try to make a day just for you and them. They may act like its the worst thing possible but my daughter told me she use to enjoy it even though she acted like she didnt. Also take it one day at a time. I know its hard but when you are feeling really down give them a call or text them. You will find that this makes you feel better. Good luck and God Bless. From girlygirl036 a mom that is truly blessed.</p> just gave me the hope I needed. So happy to hear your story. Thank you!!!

My son is a junior, my daughter a freshman and I am feeling all of this big time. Mostly from my son, who IS Jeremy from the comic ***** ZITS! ;) What I have found helps me most, and I'm kind of a 'problem solver' so I won't go into all of the emotions I have had cuz they are exactly what ya'all have been saying! Instead I'll tell you what I'm finding helps. 1. Remember being a kid yourself. you loved your folks but you didn't spend time sitting around, hanging around, doing things with them, and you couldn't wait to go off and be on your own, right?" So, remember that, first off. LET GO, but be there. They still need us, they just don't want to, thats normal and healthy. Secondly, I have found it helpful that my husband and I have gotten involved in some projects that we do together..we bought my old childhood home in Montana, and travel there to work on it and get away just the two of us..something the kids aren't really much of a part of's OUR thing! They have their things, we have ours! 3. HUMOR...use humor instead of guilt, they respond to that! Example, I said to my son..."When we went to prom, we did..." he said "Mom, that was in 'your day'...we don't do it that way anymore". WHile he may be right, it hurt me that he wasn't even willing to entertain the thought that I could have SOME wisdome he didn't have...I wanted to launch into him, but instead said "Yeah, I know, before there was electricity and we had to go to prom in a horse drawn carriage...yeah, you are right, it's totally different now.." and smiled, and left it alone! 4. Let them make lots of small mistakes...they would rather make their own choice and be dead-*** wrong, than have you take over and make it for them, and be right! EVen if you think that you are saving them, you aren't. They WILL resent you, even if you are 'right'....Let them mess up and don't say anything about it!

I'm learning all of these things by trial and error, mostly error...I wish I had do overs in some ways, but I don't, so I'm going from here and doing the best I can. I watch old movies WITH my kids and say :"SEE why I loved you so much! See why this is hard for me!! and smile with them! I want them to see how much they loved me and how much fun we had and how much I taught them and caught them and held them...NOT so they feel indebted to me, but so they understand me better...and what I have experienced. They don't recall this stuff...and even if they did, our kids did not have even remotely the same experiences with US as we had with them!! Know what I mean? While we were adoring and laughing and loving and holding, THEY were striving and getting frustrated and trying to be independent and not even thinking about how much they loved us etc...they have to be focused ON THEMSELVES, and always have been...we just didn't realize it when they were physically and emotionally dependent on us!

When and if my kids have their own kids, and then as those kids grow UP, they will finally maybe say "Wow, mom knew her stuff...she did a good job, she wasn't perfect but she sure loved us and did her best.." that is all I want, really and I dont want them to say it UNTIL they know it deep inside themselves. That will be a long way a way, so I'm going to try not to 'live for that' moment to come...or i'll waste a lot of my life! ;)

KEEP busy moms and dads, you all have so much to offer still...maybe now more than a role model for your grown kids and show them how to do it! Save the earth, volunteer if you miss children, get a major cool hobby that they can be proud of you for if that means a lot to you (it does to me, I want my kids to think I'm special, yeah, I do I admit it) But stop living FOR them, and live WITH them, alongside, separate and FIGHT the tempation to follow them around, 'text stalking them' and facebook bombing them. It's so hard, but we have to let them have privacy in order to grow up.

Whew, that was cathartic, thanks to those of you I didn't lose in the first paragraph!

Take care empty nesters!! We are all in this together and we'll be OK~!

OH one more thing...I remember my dad saying to me before he got heart surgery, I was 27, "Honey, I want to tell you right now, that you shouldn't have children... because you NEVER EVER stop worrying about them, or missing them. But then I think the only real joy in my life has been you, I guess I want you to have them and know that." He was very emotional that day, I understand that now. So many years later. (I'm 50, he is 87).

Enjoy the day. Embrace your tears. Its all good!

I know this is likely an old post. I am a husbhand as well as a Father of two wonderful children ages 10 and 11. One boy one girl. I have been both a best friend and dedicated parent since they where born (as has my wife).

Lately though, I feel their worlds becoming more and more self-centric. They need me less and less. Choose their hanging out with their friends, etc.,. etc.,. I admit I cried about this. It is a natural part of their growing up and has to happen but my soul aches.

Reading your post (and others here) has let me know that I am not crazy, alone with these feelings, or a wimp - LOL. I wanted to reply to you because your advice seems good and I especially like the your take on "letting them make lots of small mistakes". This is an area I struggle with, but have improved in recent months and I hope will help keep them at least comfortablly communicating with me....I have no false hopes about them telling me all their thoughts, but maybe a line of talk will remain open if I learn to back off gracefully during these approaching teen years.

Thanks to all of you who have posted!!

You are amazing! I am 51 with a 20 and 18 year old son and 17 year old daughter and neede to read your advice today especially that I am missing our summers in the past. They were good but it's time to make some new and different summer memories!

Ok not sure what happened, I was in the midst of a response and it disappeared lol!

I haven't been to this site in a long time. I think the first time might have been before my son turned 18. He is now 25.

I had thought that I felt so sad because of the downright doozy mistakes they are making. I just hope we all survive it as they figure it out.

Anyway, I *thought* I was sad because of some of those doozies. But since Spring has come, with all of the sights and smells, memory after memory has begun to wash over me. There has been no escape. I smell the river and the air after it rains, and instantly I'm taken back to another time, when they were all little and yes, loving and needing mom. Its only been over the past week that I realized that the bulk of my sadness is because they are growing up and away from me. I started to think about how I would feel if my youngest (who just turned 19 today...bringing with it more memories) was leaving for college. I would be just as heartbroken. I walked into my daughter's room this evening after she left. The room is still the same color I so lovingly painted it a few years ago. I don't even remember exactly how old she was when I painted it. She was at least 10 years old, but might have been a bit older. Isn't it amazing at HOW MUCH change there is from the age of 10 to the age of 20. It happens so darn fast. It's hard not to feel that we lost them when they turned 12. And with each successive child it seems like the age is younger that they grow up.

I realized that what I'm feeling is grief and not just over my kids growing up, but also because I'm getting older, my husband is getting older our friends are getting older and some have died or are very sick. These were people we shared our lives with. It is interesting because I didn't realize it....but I remember feeling like "when the kids grow up, then my husband and I can go back and pick up where we left off". Nope. Those years are gone now. I think that is a large part off what causes the "midlife crisis". Our river home has been destroyed. Some of our friends don't even come up to the mountains anymore. My dog died 2 years ago and she was there when my son was only 10. Once again I am reminded me how much children change from age 10 to age 20.

I have 20 rolls of film I never got developed for whatever reason. I want to get them developed, partly because what the above poster said is true. They are not having the same experiences with us that we are having with them. My kids don't really remember what we did as a family AND WE HOME SCHOOLED THEM! I did not shelter my kids but "family" was a big deal. We went to museums, the beach, the mountains, hikes, camping, and stayed at our place along the river on weekends. (sigh, those were some great memories). We traveled to New Mexico and Arizona, and saw the Grand Canyon. The kids were on the swim team for several years and the girls did scouts and cheerleading. Life was strung together from one memory maker to another. And still my kids don't remember what we did together, nor do they associate those memories with any particular feelings the way I do.

Like many others, I too feel like my life is over in the most important ways. Every step I take, every room I enter, every smell from all brings back one memory after another and I cry all the time. My happiest memories are with my young children and my husband, as a family. That was all i ever wanted....a close family. And it has been hard now with them each going their own separate ways. I have been hanging on, maybe wishing for the past by seeing it play out with all of us as grown ups. But the poster above is correct when he/she says that when WE were their age, we were anxious to be independent, on our own, without surveillance. I distinctly remember that. I will give my youngest credit when this past winter she came over to help me bake cookies and she called it "making memories". What a great way to look at our time together even now. She always was an "old soul" like her mom :).

Like one of the above posters, my advice to others who are grieving this loss is also to remember how we felt at that it might have taken years before we finally settled into our lives and once again included our parents. And then we as parents need to resolve our feelings by allowing ourselves to make NEW memories to add to the old ones.

Something else that is key here. When my kids were growing up, I never pressured them to decide what direction their lives would take. Their ages range from 19 to 25 now, and as I said, they are making some doozy mistakes, some of which scare the living daylights out of me. I realized that although I never shared my hopes and dreams for them (didn't even know they were there), I had expectations of them that are currently not being fulfilled and that also cause me feelings of loss. The thing is, they are all adults now. Young adults, but still adults. It is not for me to tell them how to live their lives anymore. The fact is, I would be a lot happier if I just accepted things the way they are instead of holding onto the disappointment that they didn't do things the way I apparently thought they should. I'm sure I don't need to tell them my opinion of their choices. I believe they already know, but being young, they still think they are invincible and that their choices don't really matter in the long run. I'm sure those few times when they imagine their futures, they see themselves as the kind of adults their parents were (and still are). Not carbon copies, but new and improved models as they decide which things to take with them into the future and which things to leave behind.

I also need to come to terms with the fact that I've probably got another 35 or 40 years to live. I do NOT want to spend 40 years of my life sad and grieving. I needed to open my mind to all of the possibilities, including the possibility that I could be happy again. For brief moments I have been able to imagine myself happy again. I'm not sure what I will be doing during leisure time but I did go back to school to get my masters in nursing. And I can imagine a few things I know I would enjoy doing.

You all are in my thoughts as I take one step at a time.

Sorry my post appears as one LOOONNNGGGG paragraph. I had broken it up but the format didn't stay the same when I posted!

1 More Response

I hear you. My kids are grown and because I gave myself so totally to raising them and being there for them, now I have nothing, not even them as they marched off to fulfil their destinies and live their lives. I know I can only blame myself, but it still hurts and I am having a rough time trying to make a life for myself. It seems to have all happened at the same time and so fast--also my husband died in the same time frame, so it feels like I lost a lot.
I dont know what I expected. My own mother was lost after we grewup and the 20 year old me just couldnt understand why she was so upset and not glad to get us out from under her feet! But within a few years she drank herself to death, so I do feel a lot guilt from that too. Knowing what I do now, I think I would have opted out of having kids. I could have done more with my life and not just ended up old used up and redundant.

oh my goodness - the sobbing has been insane. the feeling of my breath being sucked from me - crazy - and the sadness of recalling all the pitter patter - absolutely agonizing. empty rooms - soooo painful! like all the life in the home has been sucked out and it does feel like life is over - or should be over as now it is just torment
struggling to make the mental adjustments and align myself so that i can be my best in this next phase of my life
lucky for me my grandbabies are close by and while I am anxious at times for less noise - as soon as they leave I want them back - need to hold them, love them - i call these withdrawals

It's difficult to let go; I speak from experience. I felt like I was going to die when my 23 year old son moved out of town, and my college senior daughter announced she would be moving upon finding employment. What will I do with myself if I'm not fussing over them (my favorite thing to do)? But then my doctor said, you did a great job raising independent children, do some things for yourself now. Even though my children have been my world, I'm going to try to have some me time for a bit. Good luck and God bless. It will be ok.

I feel your pain. My three kids were spaced out over 13 years. When the first went to college, I still had a five year old at home, so that helped. Now the last one is a sophomore in college and I still cannot believe that we have an empty house. My son and I were very close and we like our daughter-in-law, but it's not the same - I'm not his main "counselor" anymore. We have two beautiful young grandchildren - and that helps a lot to ease the pain of having your children move on from you. My oldest daughter moved away to a big city - but is barely 100 miles away and it's truly fun to go and visit her and do adult things like shop and out to dinner and share a glass of wine. Still, I miss my babies and am grateful that my husband and I were blessed to have them.

i was exactly the same when my children grew up and flew the nest. i now dote on my little grandchildren, and they are just like my own, but you never get over that feeling that you arent needed in the same way as a mother. its horrible, and no one knows unless theyve been there. a loving understanding partner helps.

Oh you are so right. Grandchildren are great (we now have 3), but it is not the same as when your own children were little.

I know exactly how all of you feel. My son moved to Manhattan 5 years ago and it felt as if my heart was being ripped from my chest. I sat in his room for days and cried. 3 months ago my daughter moved 3 hours away to be with her boyfriend. I miss her so much cause she was and is my best friend. I come home from work to an empty house, try to stay busy until bedtime, cause thats the worst time, as I lay in bed, cry, and remember good times when my kids were home and I was "needed." Im alone now and it is a horrible, empty feeling that just won't go away. I love and miss my kids terribly :(

I understand completely I feel the same way although my boys are 14 and 15 I miss them needed me like they did when they were younger I felt happier I am with you and think bits normal we have been there everything an have basically given our every second to our children we never imagined the day that they would actually be grown and gone but I have heard that they will be back to us sooner than you think then we will have grands. The future is just as important as the past we are still mothers and they love us but yes I am depressed too my 15 year old seems not really unhappy, or distant but not as close to me as I would like I think he's just growing up and needs his space he has a girlfriend and confides in her a lot I think he is a straight a student and fights golden gloves boxing he is 12 and 1 so he is a great kid just always seem to feel as if I get on his nerves and can't make him proud of me no matter what I do......I miss him and he is right here does that make sense? Lol

I know this hasn't been posted on in a while, but I wanted to say something anyway. I'm 14, the youngest person in my high school, nevertheless freshman class. I spend alot of time with my friends, and even more with my family. My mom is always upset about me getting older and having so much to do with my friends, because she remembers when she would go to my school and bring food for everyone to eat and we all had a good time. But, since then, she's had a few strokes, and I really don't want her to go to my school anymore, since sometimes I want to be with friends. I always invite my friends over, since they all would rather come over to my house than vice-versa, because they like my family. But I spend way more time with my mom, and although I sometimes mouth off or hide in my room, we spends alot of time together. So, I'm trying to work a balance of spending time with friends, my dad (Who's divorced), and my emotional mom, plus my grandparents, who we live with. Even though I'm only a freshman, I can't help but wish school would go by slower, so I could spend even more time with mom, dad, and my pals. Do I have a good balance?

Love ur mother and make her feel special no matter what and u will see she won't be so emotional and she will support u spending more time with ur friends just us moms want to feel loves by our children even after you grow up we are still growing too

Dear Randomkid1234,
You have a great balance. That is a great quality especially for a young woman. Your mother is lucky to have such a responsible girl that knows and trys to understand how she feels. Good luck and God bless.

My four children are grown well adjusted adults. My oldest son has three children and my youngest daughter just had her first child. Still to this day, I miss my little children. I'm their Mother but not needed like when they were my babies. I love being a Mom. I miss rocking them on my lap. I miss so many parts of raising them and everyday I wake up with this sad missing in my chest. My house has their echo and so does my heart
The relationship changes as it has to and I have to let them go on to live their lives.
Nothing in this life will ever be as marvelous as being blessed with four incredible children and having the honor to raise them to adulthood. I miss them right now.

exactly how i feel. i have 4 grown up children. and 3 grandchildren. Yes, the special feeling when they cuddle up on your lap is the best feeling in the world.Bless them.

I just found this site after looking online for help in understanding what i am feeling right now. This past weekend my daughter got married, it was a beautiful wedding , she was a glowing bride, we were surrounded by friends and family. It took months to plan. Now its over, everyone has left. Then 3 days ago my son and his wife had our first grandchild. She is healthy, beautiful and amazing. I am blessed with all of this. However, I am in a deep depression. I feel that I am now used up. Useless and with no purpose left. I have suffered from depression for many years, but it was under control. Now, this change and the sudden ending of my mothering years has caused me to sink back inl. I have not job as I got fired in November. All the wedding planning is over, my son has his family. I don't know what my day to day purpose is left in my life. I am so lonely. My husband doesnt understand these feelings.

I understand how you are feeling as I am also grieving the loss of my 4 children who are all now grown with families of their own. I have been questioning where I am suppose to go next. I feel like my life is over at times. Then the grandbabies come over and fill up on hugs and kisses. I am lucky to have a wonderful hubbie but he has trouble understanding me too. I am trying to let go of my kids and let them be the adults that I've raised them to be but I get angry some times. Yeja, I wanted to reply to you also because I too have suffered depression throughout my life off and on. I have recognized that my "empty nest" syndrome is not going away by comes and goes but my youngest has been gone over a year and I should be on with my life by now. I have decide to get some counseling and I am so glad to have made that decision. My psychologist is an understanding female who is at about the same place in life that I am...her son is in college and she is home with her husband. She provides me with some wonderful insight and suggestions to move past this grieving stage that I am stuck in. You may want to consider seeing someone too. It doesn't have to be a psychologist, there are so many resources out there. Don't let your depression pull you back down into a black hole. We have worked all of our adult lives to raise our children and we owe it to ourselves to now find the enjoyment in life that we so deserve. Hang in there.

They need you more then you know. Just wait til the grand babies come and they will be asking you for help.
Please know that all of us have a purpose and we just need to keep looking for it. Just take it one day at a time.
God Bless

1 More Response

Im a father and have a 16 year old son and a 14 year old daughter , im about to loose them in a custody battle. I will always love my babies their mother just stepped into their lives i feel your pain as parents we try our best and all we can do is remind them that we will always be there when they need us.

The best advice ever. Your children will reach out to you and love you.

Reading all the responses are making me feel like I'm not alone...I'm scared to have this conversaton with someone else but I'm starting to feel a lot of anxiety over my kids growing up. My son is a senior and my daughter is a sophomore. I feel like a part of me is gone now that they are growing up. They both play sports and work weekends part time. I feel great as a single mom for what I have molded them to be as an adult. Its just becoming to be a big fear for me. I thought I would be okay with them growing up but now that reality is settling in I'm not doing well. I hope this gets better with time.

I googled this because I needed to know that I'm not crazy and am not alone. I have a daughter that is a senior in highschool and she is applying for colleges. My son just turned 14 2 days ago. My kids are really great, responsible, well mannered, well adjusted kids. . Don't get me wrong we don't always get along and I have moments when they drive me CRAZY. But I have been a big blubbering, crying hot mess! I feel so sad that they're growing up. I cry everyday. My husband thinks I'm losing my mind. I am proud of them, I'm happy for them but I still miss them being little. I was a young mom. But I worked so hard to be a good mom. I never expected to feel anything like this. I know that my goal as a parent is for them to be independent, educated, responsible citizens. But there is a part of me that wishes they could stay like 7 and 3 years old :'(

Well put I feel the exact same as you do no you are not alone!

As I read this I cry. I lost my Brother Mom and Dad all in two years when my kids were 1 and 3.
I have put my whole life into the kids at that point. My Daughter is a Junior and Son a Freshman in High School and it all happened so quickly. Each day I remember something we used to do that now means nothing and simply off of the Radar altogether. Christmas was a Huge Deal with Santa and Lights on the House it seems they could care less. Drill Team took over my Daughter and I never get to talk or visit as she is always on the go. My Wife has an in daycare with 4 toddlers which play with the same toys I bought the kids. I hear the same Barney music everyday, yet my kids are in High school...
My Son is into friends and sports so the Daddy thing is gone. I feel like the Breath has been knocked out of me 90% of my time. Medication is worthless and makes it worse. I am truely Blessed I know, yet I can't stop the tears. Yesterday I bought lunch for two and was headed to School to eat with my Son.....I was half way there when I remembered he's in High School now. I am loosing it BIG TIME....I cried for three hours in the parking lot of his old school...!
God has a plan I know, but MAN is this a tough one...!!!
Hang in there guys....I think we can make it.
Sad Dad